In late 1997 European legislation began implementing emissions regulations for non-road mobile machinery. These regulations are applicable to prime or standby power used in mobile applications including drill rigs, construction wheel loaders, bulldozers, highway excavators, forklift trucks, aerial lifts, mobile cranes and other non-road equipment including mobile generator sets. Over time the regulations have become progressively stricter in an effort to further reduce harmful engine exhaust substances, including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides. The standards have advanced from the initial Stage I to today’s Stage V, which is also known as EU Regulation 2016/1628.
The additional hardware and complexity needed to meet the updated Stage V requirements present new challenges to the power rental market in Europe. Since the legislation for mobile generator sets skipped Stage IIIb and IV, a big jump in technology is required including both engine modifications as well as off-engine aftertreatment. For example, a diesel oxidization catalyst (DOC) and diesel particulate filter (DPF) are required for all high-pressure fuel system units over 19 bKW, while selective catalytic reduction (SCR) will be required for all units above 56 bkW. SCR requires diesel emission fluid/ Ad-Blue to convert oxides of nitrogen (NOx) to harmless compounds. While AdBlue is a common fluid in automotive and machine applications, it is an additional item to consider for a power rental operator who may be operating in a remote location. EU Stage V also extends the scope to a wider range of engine types and sizes, regulating engine outputs greater than 560 kW for the first time presenting engine availability challenges for the large mobile power generation market. In addition to technical issues, commercial challenges exist as rental operators must work to increase rental rates to offset the significant product acquisition cost increases and maintain acceptable financial returns.
The changes occurring because of EU Stage V, along with newly proposed particle number (PN) limits, effectively require the use of diesel particulate filters (DPF) to reduce emissions to compliance levels for engines within the scope of EU Stage V.
At very high pressures, electric common rail applications deliver fuel to electronically controlled fuel injectors. This process produces a very fine diesel spray resulting in miniscule soot particulates which pose potential health risks. While this type of system enables complete control over the combustion process and allows for thermal management of aftertreatment systems, the particulates must be managed to meet emissions regulations. A DPF filtration system is designed to reduce PM, including soot from the exhaust of a diesel engine. A series of alternately blocked channels forces the exhaust gas to flow through the channel walls where the particulates are physically captured in the filter. Many rental generator applications have low load factors or utilize oversized equipment because of limited information on the customer’s load profile or large starting loads with relatively small running loads. During low load operation, a DPF will accumulate PM due to low exhaust temperatures if the soot deposit rate is greater than the passive regeneration rate from the hot exhaust gas, the result is increased back pressure on the engine. As backpressure increases, eventually the particulates must be removed from the DPF through a process known as regeneration.
By handling the regeneration processes internally with intelligent measurement of DPF soot level and on package thermal management, FG Wilson’s high-speed system works without any interaction from the operator. This allows all rental generator sets fitted with DPF systems the flexibility to be used in any application and any environment. FG Wilson generator sets achieve this process transparently to the operator, without the need to take the generator set offline or add load banks and other equipment that increases complexity, cost and weight. We can ensure all EU Stage V packages our customers receive are fully integrated and tested for optimal performance and usability.
To ease that change, however, FG Wilson is following the regulation’s built-in transition structure, to continue to manufacture equipment using the previous emission tier for 18 months after Stage V becomes effective. There is also a six-month allowance for generators to be sold after the 18th month of manufacture. Stage V became effective January 1, 2019 for all engines below 56 bkW and above 130 bkW. For engines in the 56 to 130 bkW range, the effective date is January 1, 2020. By increasing their EU Stage IIIA fleet before the legislation takes effect, fleets can maintain lower rental rates for their customers and reduce overhead. In contrast, early adopters of EU Stage V-compliant machines will benefit from rental business in highly regulated spaces such as large cities. Whichever avenue a fleet chooses, FG Wilson can help navigate a strategy to reduce cost and complexities.
Rental customers have also access to remote monitoring information that ensures that FG Wilson generator sets are being utilized correctly and are ready to run when needed. Telematics can send real-time information on fuel level, DEF(Ad-Blue) level, battery voltage and status (Run/Stop/Auto). This information can be actioned quickly, before the generator set is called to start, ensuring no issues occur when power is needed.